CHENNAI: Eight years ago, they began with a team of four and now they’re a 20-member dance crew that won several prestigious titles. The Chennai based ‘Strangerz’ finally had their milestone win when they qualified recently for the popular international dance event — World of Dance (WOD).
When they started, Krishna Prashanth, one of the first members of the crew, says that they were looking to expand and form a full-fledged dance team. “All of us are here for our passion — dancing. After we started the crew and decided to expand, we started posting and sharing the news on Facebook and were on the lookout for more people,” he shares.
One competition led to another and before they knew it, the crew had already won several competitions both, at the intra and inter college levels (2009 to 2014). But the biggest feather to their cap was added the day they made it to the top five of the popular dance reality show Kings of Dance (2016) which aired on Vijay TV. “That was really a major push for us. After having been part of the show, several people started recognising us and we were also called to perform at various events and shows,” he adds.
But success did not come easy for the dance crew and Mohammed Ashraf, one of the founders of the crew, recalls the struggle and challenges they faced. “We have reached so far after a lot of hardwork. In fact, we don’t even have a proper dance studio to practice!” rues Ashraf. They rehearse at various gyms, terraces and even the beach.
Since families of most crew members are not supportive, Ashraf states that it is difficult to earn a living by just performing. “This is one reason all of us do ‘professional jobs’ and most of the practice sessions happen late in the night. But that doesn’t stop us from dancing!” he smiles. The team was also runners-up at the 7up Lemon Pattalam dance show and has started their own YouTube channel.
Ask them about their recent victory at WOD, and the duo grins. “We never thought that WOD would ever come to India,” says Ashraf. “The hard-work put in by each of the members has led us to victory and is indeed a milestone that we have achieved,” he says enthusiastically.
Calling the stage of WOD an ‘inspiration’, Ashraf shares that the team is eagerly waiting to know the results from other cities, after which their scores will be calculated. “Whoever has higher points will fly to Los Angeles for the next round. Such stages inspire us and to just perform here itself is a dream come true, for many dancers. So, to have won the qualifier is just terrific! We are so glad we could do it,” he adds.
- Founded by David Gonzalez and Myron Marten in 2008
- Was brought to India for the first time this year by Dansta Worldwide
- Their YouTube channel has over 20,000 videos
- WOD recently launched their TV show, with Jennifer Lopez as one of the judges
- Star performers include Les Twins, Chachi Gonzales and Dytto